Wacky, wild, and arguably a genius, Yvan Arpa is at it again with another interesting watch. He is last known for his role at the helm of Romain Jerome. He turned the small company that was loosing money, into a money attracting phenomenon with his Titanic DNA and Moon Dust DNA watches. Then recently he was abruptly fired by the Romain Jerome board
. The board didn't like his unpredictable, energetic, and less than conservative personality, so they ousted him. The results of a recent court case in Switzerland brought by Arpa against Romain Jerome had Apra victorious. I am amazed that a case was resolved so quickly after he was terminated, and I wonder how much he will get in damages. Really Romain Jerome was foolish to fire the man that literally was the source of success for the company.
Thus, Arpa had the last laugh and "kicked the board in the behind." Which is quite coincidentally, another of Apra's passions - marital arts. He is a well known Bushido fighter, with a black belt. This fact may help relieve his strong personality (or add to it). Well, in conjunction with a few others, Yvan Arpa has combined his love of martial arts and watch making into a new product called the Black Belt watch.
The idea is interesting, and as crazy as Arpa is known to be. A special luxury watch that is only sold to people with documentable black belts from any style of martial arts. Basically, to purchase the watch you'll need to send them your black belt award certificate. Only then will you have the pleasure of spending 3,000 Swiss Francs to get one of the watches. Given Yvan's track record, the price isn't half bad.
The Black Belt watch itself is made completely in Switzerland and has an automatic mechanical movement, rose gold case back engraved with "For Black Belt Only" and is all dark with five shades of black all over the case. The black comes mostly from PVD coated steel done in a satin finish while the strap is a combination of specially textured rubber and waterproof calf leather. The look of the strap is meant to appear like the fabric of a kimono. Then you have the dial and hands. You can see the black belt image and text on the dial, with the hands that are meant to resemble the shinai wooden swords that are used for practice fighting. Lastly, you have the sandblasted steel bezel with Japanese Kanji characters on it.
Overall the look of the watch is silly and kind of cool at the same time. It communicates with our love of exclusivity and karate fighting at the same time. Hard to predict how many certified black belts out there will go for the watch, but what better way to communicate to people that they shouldn't mess with you. Plus, the price of 3,000 Swiss Francs makes it more or less accessible to a wider array of people than at least $25,000 Titanic DNA watches that Mr. Arpa was last working on. Oh, and a little bit of each watch sold will be donated to the "No Difference" foundation, whose goal it is to help handicap people participate in martial arts (voluntarily that is).The watch is currently available for pre-order.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch review